An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be benign or malignant (cancerous). There are dozens of different types of tumors. Their names usually reflect the kind of tissue they arise in, and may also tell you something about their shape or how they grow. For example, a medulloblastoma is a tumor that arises from embryonic cells (a blastoma) in the inner part of the brain (the medulla). Diagnosis depends on the type and location of the tumor. Tumor marker tests and imaging may be used; some tumors can be seen (for example, tumors on the exterior of the skin) or felt (palpated with the hands).
Treatment is also specific to the location and type of the tumor. Benign tumors can sometimes simply be ignored, or they may be reduced in size (debulked) or removed entirely via surgery. For cancerous tumors, options include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. See also blastoma, carcinoembryonic antigen test, desmoid tumor, ear tumor, epidermoid carcinoma, epithelial carcinoma, esophageal cancer, syringoma, fibroid, tumor marker.
- Tumor debulking
Surgically removing as much of a tumor as possible.
- Tumor grade
Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4. The cells of Grade 1 tumors are often well-differentiated or low-grade tumors, and are generally considered the least aggressive in behavior. Conversely, the cells of Grade 3 or Grade 4 tumors are usually poorly differentiated or undifferentiated high-grade tumors, and are generally the most aggressive in behavior. The grade […]
- Tumor marker
A substance that can be detected in higher-than-normal amounts in the blood, urine, or body tissues of some patients with certain types of cancer. A tumor marker may be made by a tumor itself, or it may be made by the body as a response to the tumor. Tumor marker tests are not used alone […]
- Tumor marker, CEA
cancer of the pancreas, stomach, breast, lung, and certain types of thyroid and ovarian cancer. Levels over 20 ng/ml before therapy are associated with cancer which has already metastasized (spread). CEA is useful in monitoring the treatment of CEA-rich tumors. If the CEA is high before treatment, it should fall to normal after successful therapy. […]
- Tumor marker, NSE
neuroblastoma, small cell lung cancer, medullary thyroid cancer, carcinoid tumors, endocrine tumors of the pancreas, and melanoma. Studies of NSE as a tumor marker have concentrated primarily on patients with neuroblastoma and small cell lung cancer. Measurement of NSE levels in patients with these two diseases can provide information about the extent of the disease […]